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Thread: One size fits all,

  1. #1
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    Default One size fits all,

    I'm putting it here because I think it's the best place for it.

    Currently I run 14x12 with supers. I don't think there's anything too controversial about this set up, at least round these parts but its becoming clear to me that it's a compromise solution delivering the worst of both worlds in that I have brood boxes that aren't big enough and two different sizes of boxes/frames.

    An occasional poster here runs all commercials but as a hobbyist and, more importantly, solo beekeeper I think running commercials as supers would be too heavy for one person to lift/carry.

    Double brood 14x12 is more than possible but it means essentially triple brood national before getting to the supers and trying to fit them in the current extractor.

    Has anyone tried nationals as supers? A few people have met me and can probably attest that I'm not a shrinking violet, but having tried to lift two full supers once I'm not too keen on the weight.

    What about all supers? There's a post from a Russian guy using small boxes but round here is be think 4-5 supers would be needed in a good year but I do at least have a lot of them.

    The rose box is out, it's too far off any standard.

    Do I consider langstroth mediums maybe? Though that does mean a complete change and off UK standard.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    A national 14 x 8 full of honey will weigh about 55 lbs so slightly less than two full supers which would weigh about 65-70 lbs

  3. #3
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Default

    I suppose the big question is whether you're set on standardizing on one size box -a tempting prospect, I agree. If you're not 100% set on that conversion then a good combination would be existing BS broods (however many you feel necessary) supered with 16X6 boxes. I never really understand why more people don't super nationals with commercial shallows. They're excellent boxes in my opinion.

    You could of course run on ALL commercial shallows thus saving your existing floors roofs etc (with individual brood boxes of probably very similar capacities to langstroth mediums). Myself, I'm running a couple of hives on MD shallows this season but I'm not really taken with the idea to be honest, but that's just personal preference.
    Last edited by prakel; 19-07-2013 at 08:40 AM.

  4. #4

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    I can see the attraction but even if fit lifting a national box full of national stores does not appeal.
    I suppose one way would be to take an extra box (or boxes) and transfer some of the frames to this when you are removing these large "supers". More faffy.
    This would work better if you had one of those brush bee removing machines as sold by Doug, the now retired sbi in NW England.
    It runs off a car battery and you simply put the frame through and it removes all the bees without harm. I have seen one in use, but don't own one.

  5. #5

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    I've seen those in hotels
    I thought they were for shoes

    My ideal broodbox would have just 6 frames and you would stack boxes like the Warre
    None of that nadiring stuff though
    just stick the next one on top
    Queen excluders when you want the next box as a super
    You might need guy ropes to keep it upright though
    Last edited by The Drone Ranger; 19-07-2013 at 01:47 PM.

  6. #6

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    Modern beekeeping jumbo langstroth 6 frame nuc holds nearly as many bees as a national box. You can buy dadant depth supers for them (as well as top feeders). When I eventually get up to my full quota of hives and have some spare bees I'm going to have a go at this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member chris's Avatar
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    I think one important thing to consider is the size of your bees' winter cluster, and the possibility that they have their honey stores above them rather than at the side.
    DR, you can work a Warré upwards if you like, in the same way as most other hives. Nadiring was a form of self punishment for beekeeping monks.
    Last edited by chris; 19-07-2013 at 03:43 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Comb View Post
    Modern beekeeping jumbo langstroth 6 frame nuc holds nearly as many bees as a national box. You can buy dadant depth supers for them (as well as top feeders). When I eventually get up to my full quota of hives and have some spare bees I'm going to have a go at this.
    I never knew that
    I must have a look online

    You are right Black Comb and they are on sale at the moment £29
    They can be split into 2x3 frame nucs
    Pretty useful bit of equipment all in all
    Last edited by The Drone Ranger; 19-07-2013 at 09:59 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris View Post
    I think one important thing to consider is the size of your bees' winter cluster, and the possibility that they have their honey stores above them rather than at the side.
    DR, you can work a Warré upwards if you like, in the same way as most other hives. Nadiring was a form of self punishment for beekeeping monks.
    Lol !
    Ian Craig MBE ex president of SBA winters on double brood box 8 frames in top and 8 in bottom
    I think that's in "My beekeeping Year" which he wrote for the SBA mag.

    I didn't think you had Winter in France Chris

  10. #10
    Senior Member chris's Avatar
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    We have hibernation.Can go down to -20, but-10 is more usual. Some of my hives in winter. 2 boxes, 8 bars up 8 bars down.Exactly how I intend overwintering my Warrés
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by chris; 19-07-2013 at 07:35 PM.

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